Labour minister’s office vandalized day after wage freeze law introduced
Windows are smashed at Labour Minister Laurie Scott's constituency office in Lindsay, Ont. on Oct. 24, 2018. (Premier's Office)
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:56AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2018 1:12PM EDT
Labour Minister Laurie Scott says the fact that the windows of her Lindsay, Ont. constituency office were smashed and graffiti scribbled on the walls a day after she introduced legislation freezing the minimum wage until 2020 was not a coincidence.
“They did write graffiti saying 15 dollars an hour and workers will fight back,” Scott said of the vandalism.
“Introducing legislation yesterday, then doing a press conference and then my office is vandalized after midnight, that is definitely a tie-in,” she said.
Police were called to downtown Lindsay early Wednesday morning to find windows smashed on Scott’s constituency office. No staff was present at the time of the incident.
Government House Leader Todd Smith said Premier Doug Ford and Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson received death threats over the past 24 hours.
“I have received a threat through social media,” Wilson said later. “I haven’t seen it but I understand the police have.”
Smith suggested the threats and vandalism were encouraged by labour groups opposed to the minimum wage freeze.
“We want to see 15 and Fairness and all of these radical groups acknowledge that a line has been crossed here.”
The Ford government new labour bill freezes the minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020 and ties future increases to the rate of inflation. It reduces the amount of emergency and personal leave employees receive and allows temporary workers to be paid less than full-time workers doing the same work.
It keeps previous Liberal pledges to allow workers personal paid leave if they are victims of domestic violence and three weeks paid vacation after five years of service.
In response, Ontario Federation of Labour president Chris Buckley called Ford an “enemy of workers” at a press conference on Tuesday.
Buckley told media outlets Wednesday that any suggestion his comments incited vandalism at Minister Scott’s office is “disgusting.”
"I want to be clear, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) does not support or condone violence against persons or property in any form," he said in a statement published on Wednesday.
The NDP denounced the vandalism in the legislature before Question Period.